WEB EXCLUSIVE: 12-year-old girl gives birthday gifts to charity - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

WEB EXCLUSIVE: 12-year-old girl gives birthday gifts to charity

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CORDELE, GA - A birthday is one of the most exciting times for a child.

But, one girl from Columbus got her family in Cordele involved when she gave away her birthday presents to help sick children.

When Savannah Mcilrath visits her family in Cordele, they enjoy baking all kinds of goodies. She used that skill to help raise money for sick kids by having a bake sale.

"One day, we went to Relay for Life," said Savannah Mcilrath. "I thought that was really cool with what they did for the kids with cancer. It really inspired me. So, I wanted to do something for them too."

They raised a thousand dollars for St. Jude's Children's Hospital. But, the giving was not done for Savannah. She wanted to give away all of her birthday gifts. Her dad remembers when she mentioned it to him.

"Just kind of blown away," said the father Jimmy Mcilrath. "This isn't something everyday that a 12 year old does. We were kind of surprised. But, it is kind of who she is. So, in a way, it wasn't surprising."

So what does it mean to give away your own birthday? 

"I thought I could just give my presents to the kids at St. Jude this year," Savannah Mcilrath said. I did a lot of research and I thought it was a really neat idea. So, I did it."

Friends and family brought gifts to Savannah that would then be sent to sick children at St. Jude's. Savannah's parents are constantly impressed with the 12-year old's giving spirit.

"It just goes back to the greatest commandment: to love Jesus and to love others," said Jimmy Mcilrath. "That is what she does. That is why we are proud of her."

Savannah and her dad ended up giving away their birthdays for others. She hopes other people consider doing it too.

"I hope they do a lot of research and find a really cool charity that they might want to help out with," said the 12-year old girl. "Maybe they could give their birthday away or raise money for them."

She says she is already looking for more ways to help sick kids.

Savannah says she is already planning to give away her 13th birthday to charity as well. Her parents say they have partnered with her to try to do more charity work. 

Copyright 2012 WALB.  All rights reserved.    

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